Branch Constitution and Standing Orders



The Branch shall be called “Islington Local Government” Branch of UNISON.


     a)    The Branch rules shall be in accordance with the National rules,                  decisions of the National Delegate Conference and the NEC.

     b)    Any member may have a copy of the current Rule Book.

     c)     The Branch shall make an audited annual return of Branch income, expenditure, assets and liabilities, as prescribed by the NEC and in accordance with National rules.


The aims of the Branch shall be in accordance with the aims and values of UNISON as set out in the Rule Book.


     a)    Eligibility for membership shall be in accordance with the rules of the union.

     b)    The rights and liabilities of each member shall be personal to herself/himself, and shall not be transferable in any circumstances.

     c)     Applications for membership shall take effect from the date at which completed forms are received by the Branch or at regional/national level and the first contribution made.
     d)    A meeting of the Branch or Branch Committee may decide not to support a membership application, but such a decision must be consistent with the rules and with statute. Such a decision must be explained to the individual in writing, together with their rights of appeal.

     e)    All members must comply with the constitution and rules of the
  union and shall not act in a way which could be detrimental to the
  interest of the union or its members.

f)     Any member needing support or representation shall submit the
  facts of their case to her/his stewards. The steward may call on
  the Branch Officers for support/advice and when necessary the
  Branch will seek Regional/legal support in accordance with
  national rules.

     g)    New members will not ordinarily receive individual representation               until they have been in membership for a minimum of 4 weeks.

     h)    The NEC may terminate an individual’s membership in accordance               with the rules.

5.               BRANCH STRUCTURE

     a)    The Branch shall meet at least 3 times per year, one of those meetings being the AGM.

     b)    The AGM of the Branch shall elect Branch Officers and members of the Branch Committee.

     c)     The AGM will determine the basis of representation in the Branch and the number of stewards to be elected in each workgroup or workplace.

     d)    The AGM shall approve the Departmental structure of the Branch for the forthcoming year.

e)        The quorum for a Branch Meeting shall be 5% of the Branch.

f)         General Meetings of the Branch may be called by the Branch Committee or by 5% of the membership of the Branch.

g)       Emergency Branch Meetings may be called by the Branch Committee or the Core Officer Group. Emergency Branch Meetings can only discuss matters specified in the terms of reference set for the meeting by the Branch Committee/Branch Emergency Committee.

h)       The Branch will keep a bank/building society account in the name of the Branch.

i)         The AGM shall approve a set of Standing Orders which shall govern the conduct of all Branch Meetings.


     a)    The Branch Committee shall meet a minimum of 10 times per year.

     b)    No more than 9 weeks shall elapse between meetings of the Branch Committee.

     c)     Notices for the Branch Committee should be sent out 5 working days in advance of the Branch Committee Meeting.

d)       The functions of the Branch Committee are as follows:

       i.   To take all necessary steps to administer Branch business in         accordance with the National Rules and guidance.
       ii.  To consider and deal with matters relating to the Branch and to   make recommendations to the Branch via Departmental and Branch Meetings.

       iii. To establish arrangements for the representation of members and to refer any difficulties in this regard to the Regional Organiser.

iv.   To receive regular reports from the Branch Secretary and other Branch and Departmental Officers.

v.    To deal with matters of emergency.

vi.   To appoint sub-committees as necessary.

vii. To elect delegates to the National Delegate Conference and Service Group Conference.

viii. To appoint Branch representatives for such Regional and other committees as shall be necessary.

ix. To endorse any changes to Departmental Stewards’ Structures, subject to ratification at the next Annual General Meeting.

x.  To discuss and vote on motions which fall off Branch Meeting agendas, provided that they are within the power of the Branch Committee, or reflect current Branch policy.

e)  The quorum for the Branch Committee shall be 10 members or 33% (one third) of the actual membership (as defined in paragraphs k-m below) of the Committee, whichever is the lesser. Should the quorum not be reached within 20 minutes of the arranged start time, the meeting will be abandoned.

f)   In the event of an inquorate Branch Committee, the business of the     Branch will be dealt with by the Core Officer Group,
     whose decisions will be ratified at the next quorate meeting of the
     Branch Committee.

g)  Representation on the Branch Committee shall be on the following

i.    Branch Officers
ii.   Conveners of Departmental Stewards Committees
iii. Two representatives elected from self-organised groups
iv.  One representative the Young Members’ Group
v.    Departmental representatives at the ratio of 1 per 40 members (or part thereof) per Department.

          h)  Departmental Representatives will be elected at Departmental meetings or by the Departmental Stewards Committee, depending on the structure           adopted within the relevant Department.

          i)   All departmental, Shop and Self-Organised Groups and sub-committees of the Branch Committee must keep minutes of their meetings which must be forwarded to the Branch Committee for information and/or ratification.

          j)   Where a member of the Branch Committee misses 4 (four) consecutive ordinary meetings of the Branch Committee and cannot show good cause, their membership of the Branch Committee shall lapse. Where this occurs, the Branch Chair shall write to the member concerned, informing them of this matter and offering them the opportunity to attend the next scheduled Branch Committee, where they will be afforded the opportunity to argue for their continued membership of the Committee. After hearing argument, the Branch Committee will decide on the person’s continued membership.

          k)  Where a member of the Branch Committee holds more than one of the posts listed in (g) above, they shall attend the BC in the capacity of the highest post held (the order of precedence being as set out in (g)). For the          purposes of the quorum all other posts held by that individual are deemed vacant. Nothing in this rule shall prevent a person holding 2 (or more) positions speaking in either capacity, but they shall have only one vote.

          l)   Where the position on the Branch Committee has not been filled (or
     is held in plurality as per (k)) then such vacancies shall be
     disregarded for the purposes of calculating the quorum for the
     Branch Committee.

m) The Core Officer Group shall calculate the actual
     membership of the Branch Committee immediately after the AGM  
     and shall inform           the first Branch Committee to meet after the AGM
     on the number of members required to comply with (e) for the
     forthcoming year. This figure shall be the quorum for the BC until  
     the next AGM.


     a)  The Core Officer Group shall consist of Branch Secretary, Branch Chair, and Branch Treasurer and will be empowered to make decisions and donations in exceptional circumstances, which must then be ratified by the next available Branch Committee or Branch Meeting.

     b)  In the event of a member of the Core Officer Group being unavailable, the Deputy Branch Secretary, Vice-Chair or Assistant Treasurer may substitute as appropriate.

     c)  The quorum for the Core Officer Group shall be three members, at       least one of whom should not be a substitute.


a)    The Branch shall elect the following Officers annually at the AGM;

i.             Branch Chair
ii.            Branch Secretary
iii.           Branch Treasurer
iv.           Communications (Press & Publicity) Officer
v.            Education co-ordinator
vi.           Life-long Learning co-ordinator
vii.         Equality Officer
viii.        Health & Safety Officers (2)
ix.           International Officer
x.            Membership Officer
xi.           Young Members Officer
xii.         Welfare Officer
xiii.        Labour Link Officer
xiv.        Branch Vice-Chair
xv.         Deputy Branch Secretary
xvi.        Assistant Branch Secretary
xvii.       Assistant Treasurer
xviii.     Environmental Officer
xix.        Such other officers as the AGM shall determine as necessary for the effective operation of the Branch

b)  Branch Officers may be nominated by the Branch Committee,     Departmental meetings or Departmental Stewards’ Committees,     or by any two members of the Branch, with the exception of the 
     Labour Link Officer who will be elected by the APF members only.

     c)  The AGM shall also appoint two auditors for the forthcoming year,                neither of whom are members of the Branch Committee.

     d)  Elections for Branch Officers shall be carried out in accordance with the timetable for the AGM set out below.


     a)  All Branch Officers, Departmental Officers and Stewards shall be elected annually until the next Branch/Departmental/shop AGM.

     b)  Officers and stewards shall take up their posts as soon as practicable after the relevant AGM.

c)    Where a vacancy occurs in the course of the year:

     i.   In the case of Departmental Officers and stewards, these shall be    filled at the next shop/departmental meeting. The decision will be   ratified at the         next Branch Committee after the appointment, and the person appointed shall serve until the next AGM.

     ii.  In the case of Branch Officers, the Branch Committee shall advertise         the vacancy across the Branch, requesting nominations by the day before the next scheduled Branch Committee meeting.

Where only one nomination is received, if in order, it will be ratified by the Branch Committee and the person will hold office until the next Branch AGM.

Where more than one person is nominated, the Branch Committee shall call a Branch Meeting to be held within two to four weeks, at which an election will take place. The person elected will then hold office until the next Branch AGM.

In the event of the Branch Meeting being inquorate, a choice between the candidates shall be made by the next Branch Committee.

     d)  No election can be held

i.             After 1st December, or
ii.            Within three months of a date proposed for the next AGM

In such circumstances the nominations to be treated as nominations for the forthcoming year and will be decided at the Branch AGM.


          a)  The Branch AGM must be held before the end of March each year.

          b)  Arrangements for the AGM must be made by the Branch Committee prior to the end of the preceding year, (or by the Core Officer Group as soon as possible thereafter if this proves to be impossible).

          c)  Notice of the AGM is to be distributed 8 weeks before the date of the meeting. (Weeks covering the Christmas & New Year Bank Holidays are not counted when calculating notice for the AGM)

          d)  Notice is to include Nomination Forms for Branch Officer posts for the forthcoming year, a Draft Agenda and requests for Motions.

          e) Deadline for submission of Nominations/motions to the Branch                  Office will be 4 weeks before the date of the AGM.

          f)   Departmental, Shop and Self-Organised Groups AGMs must be held in the period 8 to 4 weeks before the Branch AGM whilst Nominations are open to enable stewards/officers to be elected and to agree motions/nominations to be submitted  from these meetings to the Branch AGM.

          g)  Departmental, Shop and Self-Organised Groups AGMs must elect convenors and other officers for the forthcoming year, and submit an annual report to the Branch Office for inclusion in the Branch annual report for the Branch AGM.

h)  Persons nominated for Branch Officer posts will be notified of their nomination the day after nominations closed. Nominees have the right to withdraw their candidacy up to 3 weeks before the AGM.

          i)   Notices of persons nominated for each post and motions for debate will be circulated to members 3 weeks before the AGM.

          j)   Where Branch Officer posts are contested, an election will be held at the AGM.

          k)  Voting shall be by secret ballot of all those attending the AGM. No member may have more than one vote per election.
          l)   Candidates for contested posts must submit an election address (max 500 words) to the Branch Office not less than 2 weeks before the AGM date.

          m) Amendments to ordinary motions for the AGM can be submitted up to 5 days before the date of the AGM.

          n)  Emergency Motions can be submitted up to 5 days before the AGM and are accepted at the discretion of the Core Officer Group

          o)  Motions submitted on the day of the AGM or less than 5 days before will only be taken at the discretion of the Branch Chair.

a)    All meetings will be conducted in a fair and democratic manner.
b)   All meetings should be advised widely as far in advance as possible.
c)    The procedures to be used at the meeting must be explained clearly.
d)   Records of meetings, financial records and accounts and other appropriate records must be kept.

a)    Members shall conduct themselves in accordance with the National Rule Book.

b)   Disciplinary action against members shall be carried out in accordance with the National Rule Book.

     c)  Members shall seek to ensure that discriminatory acts are not committed against any persons by the Branch, or by its organisation, members or officers on grounds such as race, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, marital or civil partnership status, creed, religion or belief or social class.

     d)  Subscriptions will be paid in accordance with the National Rules and subscription rates will be such as is determined by the National Conference. Local levies will only be levied in accordance with the National Rule Book.


a)       Communications to the press or publicity on behalf of the Branch shall only be made by officers authorised to do so by the Branch Committee or by the Branch. (i.e. the Communications Officer). Any communication or publicity in the name of the Branch, Branch Secretary or other Branch Officer must be approved by the Branch Secretary or the Core Officer Group.


     a)  The Branch’s administrative and financial year shall be the period         commencing 1st January and ending on 31st December.

     b)  The annual report and financial statement shall be duly audited and     submitted to the AGM with copies sent to the National HQ.

     c)  Branch property shall be vested in the Branch Secretary and Branch     Treasurer. Any member wilfully damaging such property will be            liable to pay compensation in respect of the damage.


          a)  Affiliations to relevant constituency Labour parties will be decided by the APF membership.

          b)  Affiliations to trade councils shall be determined by the AGM or the Branch Committee.

          c) Affiliations to any other organisation may be approved by a Branch meeting or by the Branch Committee in accordance with the union’s policies and objectives, subject to the provisions of National Rules.


          a)  Donations shall be agreed by the AGM or Branch Committee in accordance with the union’s policies and objectives and subject to the provision of the National Rules.

          b)  The Branch Committee is empowered to make donations of up to £100 to TUC affiliated bodies or other UNISON Branches and of up to £50 to any other body or organisation.

17.     EXPENSES

          a)  Expenses shall be paid for members attending meetings outside of their normal hours of work on behalf of the Branch.

          b)  Rates of expenses for members attending meetings or carrying out other activities on behalf of the Branch shall be agreed by the AGM in accordance with the Scheme for Branch Expenses contained in the Branch Finances Handbook.

          c)  The Branch does not pay honoraria payments.

          d)  All expenses shall be subject to scrutiny in the light of the financial situation at any given time.


          a)  Branch Rules must be agreed by two-thirds of members present and voting at a quorate Branch Meeting.

          b)  Branch Rules must be approved in accordance with UNISON’s                   procedure.

a)    Any changes to Branch Rules must be agreed and approved in the same way.

          d)  Any dispute over the interpretation of this constitution shall be referred to the NEC, whose decision in the matter shall be conclusive and final.



1.       PURPOSE

1.1     Standing Orders exist to assist in the running of the business at Branch meetings and Branch Committee Meetings. They also serve as a template for the conduct of Departmental and Shop meetings and for meetings of Self- Organised groups within the Branch.


2.1     Standing Orders shall be interpreted and applied by the Core Officer Group in accordance with the Branch Constitution, except during times when a Branch meeting is in progress. At such times the Chair of the meeting is solely responsible for the interpretation and application of Standing Orders, and the decision of the Chair on any matter shall be final.


3.1         Standing Orders can only be changed through a motion to a quorate Branch Meeting. Such a motion must be approved by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.

4.       QUORUMS

4.1         Quorums for meetings shall be as the Branch Constitution.
4.2         A challenge to the quorum can be made by any member present and entitled to vote at the meeting. A count of the numbers of members present at the meeting shall take place immediately after the challenge has been made.

4.3         If the challenge is successful, then no further business may be transacted at the meeting. Matters still outstanding will be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 14. The Chair has the discretion in these circumstances to either adjourn the meeting immediately, or permit discussions on outstanding items (although no decisions can be made).

4.4         If a challenge is unsuccessful, the meeting will continue in the normal way. No further challenges to the quorum can be made until the next item of business is reached.


5.1         Attendance at meetings shall be in accordance with the National Rule Book and the Branch Constitution.

5.2         Retired and/or Unemployed members can attend meetings but cannot vote on matters affecting the terms and conditions of full members of the Branch.

5.3         Save as excepted by Standing Order 5.2 above, all those attending meetings shall have the right to speak and vote in accordance these Standing Orders.


6.1     All meetings shall be chaired by the Branch Chair or, in his/her absence, the        Branch Vice-Chair, who shall be elected annually at the Branch annual General Meeting.

6.2         In the event of both the Branch Chair and the Branch Vice-Chair being unable to attend a meeting, the meeting shall elect a chair for the duration of that meeting only.

6.3         The Chair of the meeting shall decide on any Procedural Motions and Points of Order and his/her ruling on the matter is final and binding.

6.4         The Chair may at any time propose that the meeting be adjourned for a specified period. An immediate vote on this proposal shall be taken by the meeting.


7.1         The mover of a motion or amendment may speak for no more than 3 minutes and each subsequent speaker for no more than 2 minutes.

7.2         When an amendment to a motion is moved, no further amendment may be moved until the first one is disposed of.

7.3         When an amendment is defeated, a further amendment may be moved on the motion.

7.4         When an amendment to a motion is carried, the motion as amended becomes a substantive motion. A further amendment can then be moved to the substantive motion.

7.5         No person may move more than one amendment to any one motion. The mover of the motion may not move an amendment to their own motion.

7.6         No person shall speak more than once on a motion or amendment, except that the mover of the original motion may exercise a right of reply for not more than 2 minutes. No new material may be introduced during a right of reply.

8.       VOTING

8.1         All those present at the meeting shall be entitled to a vote on all motions and amendments subject only to the proviso set out in Standing Order 5.2

8.2         Voting Procedure

          8.2.1  The Chair shall call for a show of hands, from the result of which the Chair may declare the result of the vote.

          8.2.2  If the Chair cannot make a clear declaration from the show of hands, the Chair will call for a count.

          8.2.3  At least 20 members present at a Branch Meeting, or 5 members present at a Branch Committee Meeting may also call for a count.

          8.2.4  The count will take place before the meeting proceeds to the next item of business.

          8.2.5  In the case of Branch Meetings and the annual General Meeting the count will be conducted by tellers who shall be appointed at the start of the meeting.

8.3     Voting will only be by secret ballot at the Annual General Meeting where there is a contest for a Branch Officer post, or other such occasions as the Chair and/or the Core Officer Group deem appropriate.


9.1         The following can submit motions and/or amendments to a meeting:

  • The Branch Committee
  • The Core Officer Group
  • Branch Officers
  • Self-Organised Groups
  • Departmental Stewards’ Committees
  • Individual Shops
  • Individual Members

9.2         Where a motion or amendment is put forward by an individual, it must be formally seconded by another individual.

9.3         An individual may submit up to two motions to any one meeting. There is no limit on the number of amendments that may be submitted.

9.4         Prioritising of motions and amendments shall be done by the Core Officer Group prior to any meeting or by the Chair during the course of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 2.


10.1          Emergency motions can be submitted by any person or body listed in Standing Order 9.1

10.2          Save as to the constraints set out below, there is no limit on the number of emergency motions that can be submitted.

10.3          Emergency motions can be accepted by the Core Officer Group up to 24 hours before the advertised time of any meeting. Thereafter emergency motions are only accepted at the discretion of the Chair.

10.4          An emergency motion will not be given a higher place in the order of business over other motions and amendments on the agenda except where the Core Officer Group (or the Chair) decides that its purpose would be frustrated if it were not dealt with earlier in the meeting.

10.5          If an emergency Branch Meeting (or Emergency Branch Committee Meeting) is called as a result of the Core Officer Group receiving an Emergency Motion, this will be held within 5 days of the emergency motion being submitted to the Branch Office. Such meetings shall only be competent to discuss matters covered in emergency motion(s).


11.1      The following procedural motions may be moved at any time during the meeting and without previous notice on the agenda:

          11.1.1          That the question be now put

This depends on the Chair being satisfied that the matter has been sufficiently debated. If this is carried it shall take immediate effect, apart from any right of reply.

          11.1.2          That the meeting proceed to the next business
If this is carried it means that the matter being discussed immediately falls from the agenda and the meeting proceeds to the next item of business.

          11.1.3          That the debate be adjourned


12.1      A Point of Order draws the meeting’s attention to a breach of the rules or of Standing Orders.

12.2      A Point of Order may be raised by any individual person present ant the meeting at any stage if it is considered that the business is not being conducted in accordance with the National Rule Book, the Branch Constitution or these Standing Orders.

12.3      The Point of Order must be raised as soon as the alleged breach occurs, or at the earliest practicable moment thereafter.

12.4      The Point of Order shall not be debated or amended, and the Chair shall make an immediate ruling.


13.1      Any motions not reached at a Branch Meeting or annual General Meeting shall be referred to the next Branch Committee Meeting and reported back in due course. Such motions shall have priority over other business at the next Branch Committee meeting.

13.2      Any motions not reached at Branch Committee Meeting shall be referred to the Core Officer Group and reported back to the next Branch Committee meeting as part of the Branch Secretary’s report.


14.1   The Core Officer Group (or Chair) can propose grouped debates or sequential voting on motions an/or amendments which deal with the same subject matter if it is felt expedient to do so.

14.2   The procedure for a grouped debate is as follows:

          14.2.1           The Chair will advise the Meeting of the order of business and of the sequence in which motions and amendments will be voted on following a general debate, and of the effect of certain proposals upon others.

          14.2.2          All motions and amendments included in the debate are                           moved.

14.2.3           The general debate takes place.

14.2.4           The Chair again states the order of voting and advises the meeting which, if any, motions and amendments will fail of others are carried.

14.2.5           Voting takes place on motions, preceded by relevant amendments, in the order they were moved.

14.3              A grouped debate may not be adjourned until all the motions
and amendments have been moved.


15.1        any one or more of these Standing Orders may be suspended by a resolution of the meeting in relation to a specific item of business before the meeting or to the proceedings of the meeting, provided that at least two-thirds of the members present and voting vote for the resolution.

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